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Ahh, what a wonderful long weekend. ^_^ I had to be up with the former roomie on Monday, so I thought I'd snag a couple extra days off to meld with the weekend. And so Friday evening began with an impromptu pub crawl across four quite good (and delightfully proximate =:) establishments, including one with a very healthy selection of Scotches. We were appropriately merry upon said adventure's conclusion, some six hours later. ^_^ Being there, of course, also gave me the perfect opportunity to revisit some of "my" buns, from last year - and yes, they're positively thriving, with up to a dozen out in the open at any one time. Of course, I find that to be a tremendously positive indicator of the land, not to mention suffused with that inexplicable Zen relaxation of wildlife photography - so extraordinarily relaxing, yet so intense, concentrating on who's been particularly active, who seems to be making advances on others, or indeed, has just made a freestyle binky. ^_^ Like so:

Having thoroughly enjoyed Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, I can happily give it a thumbs-up. ^_^ It's somewhat like a blend of Tintin, Amélie, and Indiana Jones - or, if you've been watching ponies, Daring Do.

If you're looking for headphone reviews, you could do very much worse than this pair of links: 245 in-ear headphones and 102 portable headphones, ranging from a couple dollars, to high hundreds. Each review is carefully considered, too. (I'd concur with the verdict on mine - Sennheiser PX200-IIi, where the IIi is just the II with iPhone control added)

A Kickstarter of note: Anomalisa, by Charlie Kaufman, whose previous work includes Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's going to be a 40-minute stop-motion animated feature, with a goal of $200k - quite a modest sum, possible due to the collective resources of those involved in the project. It's fairly likely to succeed in its aim, as it's already over $140k, with a deadline of Sep 9.

MIT's showing off glasses-free 3D video, looking very promising - it produces more of a genuinely holographic end result, so you can actually move your head around the display to change the 3D scene.

In a potentially interesting development in the EFF's case against the US government's mass surveillance program, "Three whistleblowers – all former employees of the National Security Agency (NSA) – have come forward to give evidence in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) lawsuit against the government's illegal mass surveillance program, Jewel v. NSA. In a motion filed today, the three former intelligence analysts confirm that the NSA has, or is in the process of obtaining, the capability to seize and store most electronic communications passing through its U.S. intercept centers, such as the "secret room" at the AT&T facility in San Francisco first disclosed by retired AT&T technician Mark Klein in early 2006."

It's hardly scientific reporting, but still, Gizmodo's look at Terahertz scanners is, shall we say, food for thought.

If you've been looking for a good desktop Twitter client, Hotot might be the answer - but we won't know for certain until its release. ^_^; It's coming for OS X, Linux, Windows, and as a Chrome extension. Or, right now, there's Tweetbot for OS X - but note that it's far from a final release, as they point out.

Sustrans notes that Google Maps UK now includes cycling routes, and that they'll be working with them to help improve that information.

If you're in the EU, and think ACTA's done for, beware of its revival, via a different treaty. This wheeze lacks the ISP provisions, but otherwise attempts to introduce similar terms via the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), currently nearing its final stages of negotiation.

Finally got to see the (more or less - they're not absolutely ruling out the show might return, someday) finale of Hustle over the long weekend, too. Ahh, yes. I don't tend to follow many series, but Hustle's easily amongst that number - generally quite tight plotting, allowing for inevitable artistic license, and a crew chemistry that works. I shan't offer any spoilers, but it did indeed provide an intense ending.

And as for Alabama 3? Maybe not the most famous band around, but their site does a good job of summarising what they're about, even if the outcome might be awkward to envisage: "We're the Alabama 3. We make Sweet Pretty Muthafuckin Country Acid House Music. All night long. We're not from Alabama, and there's not three of us. We're from Brixton, London. We're the fellas that did that Soprano's theme tune. That tune bought someone a swimming pool, but it sure wasn't any of us…" You might want to check out their video and audio pages for some example tracks, such as Woke Up This Morning.

And so Friday evening began with an impromptu pub crawl across four quite good (and delightfully proximate =:) establishments, including one with a very healthy selection of Scotches

MMmm, sounds nice! Although with my "one drink maximum" personal rule, I'd probably have to revisit it regularly just to sample what it's got to offer — not that that's necessarily a bad thing. :) (And they do say that after the third dram, EVERYTHING will taste good, too, so "one drink maximum" is also a good rule if you want to find out what really appeals to your taste — unless you can bring yourself to spit instead of swallowing, but that's perhaps more for dedicated tastings than for bars, anyway. The alternative would be to just smell the whisky, but what's good for master blenders is not necessarily enough for us. :))

Thanks for the headphone review links, too; these might be useful some day.

Gizmodo's being sensationalist as usual (well, it IS part of Gawker, so I guess it's to be expected), but they raise some good points nonetheless. I'm reminded of what Bruce Schneier recently said (on FDL, IIRC) — when there's technological progress, society (values, laws etc.) will rebalance again eventually, but when progress happens faster than the rebalancing can, problems arise. I have no doubt that the technological advances of today will be dealt with appropriately by our societies, but I do agree with Bruce that there could be trouble if things start happening too fast. (Of course, THAT in itself is perhaps also a change that society can and will adapt to; rebalancing will happen nonetheless, on a larger scale.)

As for ACTA/CETA... you really have to wonder who's actually ultimately behind all this, don't you?

If you've been looking for a good desktop Twitter client, Hotot might be the answer

Oh yeah, I'll have to look into that, too — TweetDeck (0.38.x, not the new crap that Twitter put out) is OK, but it could still be better, and it's starting to show its age here and there.

Edited at 2012-07-13 11:28 pm (UTC)